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Poster: William Tell Date: May 4, 2008 8:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: nightly setlists

Certainly in the early years when they were doing the suites, there wasn't much to talk about, as they predictably jammed from one obvious choice to another (but not always--sometimes it was LL and other times DDHNM, and you hear them noodle toward one and then suddenly go for the other, based on someone making the decision; FYI, we have talked about who provided this most of the time but I am too lazy to search for the answer if there was one).

By 71, with all the short songs, they often noodle between, and it always seemed to me that Phil, Jerry or Bob was proposing the next song by the few chords they played that were clear indicators of the next song. Of course, they could have been doing exactly that because of the set list...however, you can hear them debating which song they will do, even as an opener, suggesting that even the first song was not set in stone. They defn had a general plan though, as you note, because they often alternate who sings what: Jerry song, Bob song, PP song, Jerry song, Bob song, etc...

Here's a tidbit on the "no set list side:" who recalls Phil, in 71, in a frustrated voice, at the start of the show, saying "What's it gonna BE!??" and then saying "uh, okay..." and they launch into Truckin'?

I don't know either way, but early on, between 68 and 71, I think there were few set lists...I do know they planned the early, early sets (65-66).

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Poster: lobster12 Date: May 4, 2008 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: nightly setlists

Also, if you listen to the marsalis show from 1994 as they wind down Eyes of the world, Phil's Mic is hot and he says, "we should probably do Samba first". They do. Maybe it's because they had a guest that night. Also, Hornsby has admitted that the notion of no set list is bot completely trye.

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Poster: barongsong Date: May 5, 2008 9:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: nightly setlists

Hi William and sorry. I was gone for the day so this is a belated response, but yea I'd go along with the notion that things got more scripted as the years rolled on but in my thinking it's because of the sheer volume of the music repertoire they had to deal with. However I do think it was more of a formula than a set list that was set in stone. IE: Jerry song, Bobby song, throw in a Phil, Brent, or whoever song every once in a while and repeat. Add in that they would rarely repeat a song from the night before, in the later days, and it becomes semi-predictable what will be played in a show. I had several friends that were quite adept using this method at naming most of the songs that would be played on most nights. It is my BELIEF that the band used this formula along with an Idea of the songs they felt like playing that night, mixed with a bit of inspiration and innovation and wallah instant Dead Show.
I think the real debate should be whether the load of the repertoire enhanced the Dead experience or bogged it down but I'll leave it to later post I guess.

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Poster: William Tell Date: May 5, 2008 11:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: nightly setlists

Yes--I think that's probably it: a "formula"...that's what I was getting at too with the Jerry then Bob then PP...etc.

Thanks.

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: May 4, 2008 9:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: nightly setlists

I just happen to be listening to 6-18-76 today, and Weir says what sounds like, "[let's] try The Wheel" just before they launch into it.